Why Do Cats Have Tails?

tail [ teyl ]
The hindmost part of an animal, especially that forming a distinct, flexible appendage to the back end of its body.

The cat’s tail is a complex series of muscles, nerves, tendons, and bones, 10 percent of all the bones in their whole body. Kittens chase their own tails all the time. Is this all they are good for?

Cat’s tails actually serve several vital functions for the feline.

Cats have incredible balance, the ability to walk along a window ledge, across furniture backs, along a fence top, etc. As they walk, when they lean their tail sweeps to the opposite side like a person walking the tight wire balances with their arms or a pole. Landing on all fours is helped by the counterweight of their tails.

Marking Their Territory
Cat’s tails contain glands, which secrete a scent when they want to mark their territory.

Cats have 9 main scent gland locations throughout their bodies that are responsible for leaving their own unique scent behind. Caudal glands are found throughout the tail and are spread when a cat uses his or her tail to communicate.

Cats will often bring their tails straight up to not only show they mean no harm but also to spread their scent in the air.

Cats do not wag their tails in the manner that dogs do, but a gentle swishing can be a happy sign.

A stiff straight-up tail could be a sign of being frightened or unhappy. If the fur puffs out on the tail the cat is not pleased. If it trashes from side to side the cat is angry. A straight-up tail with a curled end usually means it is ready to play. A curled tail around the cat’s body while lying down or sitting is usually for warmth, like hugging themselves.

Cat Tails Knowledge
Even though your cat may not show any signs of not wanting you to pull on their tails, it can be harmful. There are nerves contained in the tails that can suffer damage from this pulling. A cat that suffers damage may not heal properly.

A cat that loses its tail due to an accident will usually recover the loss and be fine without it.

Look at your cat’s tail and it will tell you a story about its disposition and moods. An arched back and a puffed tail means to stand back!


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Author: Doyle

I was born in Atlanta, moved to Alpharetta at 4, lived there for 53 years and moved to Decatur in 2016. I've worked at such places as Richway, North Fulton Medical Center, Management Science America (Computer Tech/Project Manager) and Stacy's Compounding Pharmacy (Pharmacy Tech).

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